I am using the following thesis template. I need to change the reference style to IEEE style. This is the script that runs with the reference style that I need to change:




\usepackage[style=numeric, sorting=none, backend=bibtex, doi=false, isbn=false]{biblatex}


% This makes the bibliography left-aligned (not 'justified') and slightly smaller font.

\title{Test Title}

\chapter{First Chapter}
\section{First Section}
I cite this~\cite{preece1994human}

\setlength{\baselineskip}{0pt} % JEM: Single-space References



In order to change the style, Iremoved the follwoing two lines from the above script:

\usepackage[style=numeric, sorting=none, backend=bibtex, doi=false, isbn=false]{biblatex}

and replaced them with this:


But I get the following errors:

line 18: \bibfont undefined. \renewcommand*{\bibfont}
line 32: Undefined control sequence. \printbibliography
: No file Oxford_Thesis.bbl.
line 26: Citation `preece1994human' on page 1 undefined
: There were undefined references.

How can I make the above template script to use IEEE reference style. Note that I placed the IEEE required .sty and .bst files before I compile, still getting the errors.


To clarify why adding style=ieee does not give the desired output here is some clarification:

If I have this bibliography entry:

    author = {Smith, James},
    title = {Obama inaugurated as President},
    date = {2009},
    note = {accessed Jun. 12, 2009},
    url = {https://www.cnn.compolitics},

According to IEEE (check section P Websites), it should appear like this (note the double quotations in the title of the website):

1 J. Smith, “Obama inaugurated as president,” accessed Jun. 12, 2009. [Online]. Available: https://www.cnn.compolitics

The above output is what I get if I use IEEEtran in the Latex script. But, in the thesis template, the same bibliography entry appear like this in the references part (with italic and no quotations mark in the title):

J. Smith, Obama inaugurated as president, accessed Jun. 12, 2009, 2009. [Online]. Available: https://www.cnn.compolitics.

If I use @online in the entry instead of @misc, it removes the italic from the title, but does not add quotations marks, and it appears like:

J. Smith. (2009). Obama inaugurated as president. accessed Jun. 12, 2009, [Online]. Available: https://www.cnn.compolitics.

How can I make the reference using the thesis template appear to the same way in the IEEEtran (i.e. the website title is non-italic and with quotations)?

  • 4
    Just replace style=numeric (which is the default, b.t.w.) with style=ieee. Biblatex doesn't use .bst files.
    – Bernard
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 21:29
  • @Bernard Thanks a lot.
    – anon
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 21:37
  • 3
    Off-topic: You should probably replace \addbibresource{references} with \addbibresource{references.bib}.
    – Mico
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 22:07
  • @Bernard Would you mind writing up a short answer here (you could link to tex.stackexchange.com/q/61956/35864 for a 'biblatex does not use .bst files' explanation).
    – moewe
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 21:06
  • If you find that biblatex-ieee does not produce the output the IEEE wants, open an issue at github.com/josephwright/biblatex-ieee/issues. Include a short (minimal) example (one that uses a standard class like article and only loads the minimum number of packages required to see the output).
    – moewe
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 5:44

2 Answers 2


You can have the specifications of the IEEE bibliography style with biblatex, simply using


in the place of [style=numeric], and using the bib extension in \addbibresource{references.bib} (contrary to the bibtex command bibliography{references}), as @Mico pointed in his comment.

Also, biblatex does not use .bst files, but .bbx files for the bibliography styles, .cbx files for the citation styles and .lbx files for language-dependent strings. You can find more explanations in this answer pointed at by @moewe

  • Unfortunately, after trying it, it does not give me the desired format the I used to get when I use the IEEEtran.bst. For example, in @misc reference type where I used to use to refer to web references, when using your solution, the web document title gets italized (italic font) while it should not (based on IEEE standard) and they are not italized when I use the IEEEtran. Is there a way to allow me use the original IEEEtran?
    – anon
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 23:19
  • Did you try with the @online type? Other than this, it is easy to patch biblatex styles to make some modifications. Could you post a short (compilable) document, explaining the details you'd like to change?
    – Bernard
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 23:26

The latest version of the biblatex-ieee package fixed the posted problem and the @online bibliography entry should be good for an IEEE conformant format now.

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